What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Codex Egyptium

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kickstart This: Familiars & Companions for 5th Edition

Troll Lord Games pretty much started with at the start of the d20 era though their first releases predates d20.  Thanks to the OGL though, as well as a couple twists of fortune, they had started with some promising and interesting books -- including material from Gary Gygax.  But the wheel keeps turning as as the 3rd Edition era was phasing out, Castles & Crusades became an increasing focus for the company.  When Gygax passed away, C&C and other games using the same mechanics, became their sole focus.  It stayed that way for the past few years.

This has begun to change however, and at the end of last month, they launched a Kickstarter to release a gaming book for 5th Edition.  While it is true that TLG is testing the waters with this product, the material that makes up the book isn't something that hasn't been tested before.  The present kickstarter is to put out a full color hardback detailing Familiars and Companions for your 5th Edition D&D game.  Prior to this book, TLG has produced 'The Book of Familiars' for 3rd Edition and, a C&C version a few years later but this book is not just a conversion of something we have seen before.  At best, it builds on the foundation and concepts previously introduced and builds up fully embracing 5th Edition mechanics and aesthetics.  In fact, this approach will likely result in a much better product than C&C's Book of Familiars simply because it isn't a rehash or simple conversion.  It is also nice to see a much more focused approach for 5th Edition as opposed to releasing a 'catch-all' product that tries to juggle many different subjects.

Now, I have enjoyed the aforementioned C&C book for what it offered.  Some things seemed to be a bit overpowered to my liking but, I lay the blame for that at the foot of the original d20 version.  I found it a bit ironic that some aspects of this new 5th Edition book will be toned down compared to what was done previously.  Certain mechanical aspects found in the original d20 and C&C versions are no where to be seen in this new one.

For instance, the whole point of this book is to open up the possibility to have Familiars and Companions expanded beyond just a couple of classes.  One of the way they treat this is through the spending of character experience points.  This won't be how 5th edition gaming accessory deals with this.  Rather, these familiars and companions will be a true extension of the character and advancing along with them.  The best part is that these won't just be restricted to a animal or magical creature.  Imagine, a fighter linking with a 'legacy blade' or a rogue's own shadow becoming something more and fighting alongside him.  While some of these things might have been introduced before, they seem to fit much more naturally with 5th Edition.

If you are a FAN of 5th Edition, and want something more that what is currently being offered for that game, this Kickstarter may very well be for you.  Troll Lord Games has come a far from its humble beginnings and the recent products that have been released the past few years have gotten many to take notice.  A full color hardcover $35 USD with some extras thrown in is great value -- especially if you consider the C&C Book of Familiars retails for about $30 and that's in black and white.

Curious for more?  Check out the campaign that is winding down over HERE.  They haven't reached their funding goal yet, but reaching hit isn't impossible at this stage.  It's just taking a bit longer to get there.


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